Recently published emails provide additional evidence that the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign paid ex-UK intelligence agent Christopher Steele to prepare fraudulent opposition research regarding the Trump campaign for use by U.S. intelligence agencies in their surveillance of President Donald Trump.
The emails show that before the Clinton campaign directed Fusion GPS to hire Steele to gin up false allegations regarding Trump, Fusion GPS was already shopping around fraudulent allegations about Russian collusion.
Among the parts of Spygate that have been made public since 2018, the recent prosecution of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann has made the work done to concoct the dossier more clear. The prosecution of Sussmann by Special Counsel John Durham has shown that Democrats paid individuals with security credentials to pass along fraudulent evidence attempting to show Trump connections to Russia.
Emails between Fusion GPS and several journalists published last week in the course of the Sussmann case suggest that Steele also was paid so that his official credentials could cover up the political nature of the constructed Russia narrative.
They show that Fusion GPS had already begun spinning up the false Russia story a month before it hired Steele. In the middle of May 2016, Jake Berkowitz with Fusion GPS wrote to Slate reporter Franklin Foer about Carter Page. The message constitutes an effort to form a collaboration to investigate Page over his involvement in the Trump campaign.
Peter Fristch with Fusion GPS also participated in the email thread, which led to Berkowitz sharing his “research” regarding Page with Fristch and Foer. By May 19, 2016, Berkowitz told Fristch and Foer that Page had been invovled in “doing some work for the Russians” when he worked at Merrill Lynch.
Foer subsequently used material provided by Berkowitz in an article in Slate that portrayed Page and other persons identified by Berkowitz as Trump associates who had been compromised by the Russians.
Throughout the remainder of the 2016 campaign, Fusion GPS continued to exchange emails with Foer and other Democrat-friendly outlets, including the Washington Post and Reuters. The emails show that a large part of the Democratic effort was to have their bogus narrative stamped with the authenticity that Steele could provide.
In addition to dressing the Russia fiction up with credibility for the secret FISA court, Steele also assisted Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign by exploiting his connections in the intelligence community. Steele handed his dossier off to Bruce Ohr and later the State Department.
The emails revealed last week in the Sussmann case are but a small fraction of the emails between Fusion GPS and friendly reporters according to other papers filed with the court.